Mike Schur jumps on chance to call Sox game

August 18th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- Bill Walton’s performance as White Sox guest broadcaster on Friday night at Angel Stadium had him trending on Twitter all night long, and generated a plethora of memorable quotes. Anyone who caught even segments of the broadcast won’t soon forget it.

One of those people is Saturday night’s guest broadcaster, Mike Schur, who knows the bar has been set high for him.

“Bill Walton is a national treasure,” said Schur. “There should be a federal law that he has to call one game a year in every major sport. It was utterly delightful, I loved every second of it. So I hope to be one-eightieth as entertaining as Bill was last night.”

If you don’t know Schur’s name, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of his work. Schur produced, wrote for and appeared on NBC’s “The Office,” co-created “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and created “The Good Place.” You might also know Schur, a lifelong baseball fan, as “Ken Tremendous,” a name he blogged about baseball under for several years, and still uses as his display name on Twitter.

“I have literally been watching this game since I was old enough to know that it existed,” said Schur. “I have a good head for stats and facts and trivia. … I think that in the course of three hours, there will be ample opportunity for me to expunge some of the completely meaningless information that I have about the game of baseball.”

Schur’s baseball bona fides are certainly not in doubt, nor are his abilities as an entertainer. But did he ever think he’d get the opportunity to call a Major League Baseball game?

“I’ve never even considered it. I wouldn’t know how to do it if I had wanted to consider it,” said Schur. “[White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti] was a fan of some of the shows I’ve worked on, and he emailed me out of the blue and said, ‘Steve Stone takes four games off and they’re in Anaheim, do you want to come join me in the booth?’ And my gut instinct was, ‘You gotta be kidding me, no way, that’s insane. I don’t know how to do that.’ But then the next thought was, ‘Nobody’s ever gonna invite me to do this again. This is my one chance. So if I ever wanna do it, this is it.’

“So I’m shoving down my anxiety, fear into a corner of my soul, and I’m gonna give it a shot.”

In spite of that anxiety, Schur is fully prepared for his duties, thanks to one person in particular: his son, William.

“I have my advance scouting team, my 11-year-old son, who read me some stats on the way down here,” said Schur. “I’m fully briefed on both teams’ home run leaders, ERA leaders. … [But] I’m gonna let Jason do all the hard stuff. I’m just gonna say things like, ‘Whoa! Deep drive to left.’”

Injury updates

• Infielder ’s rehab is off to a good start, according to manager Rick Renteria. Moncada, working his way back from a right hamstring strain, went 1-for-5 in Friday’s game, and was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in the first half of Triple-A Charlotte’s doubleheader on Saturday. He then homered in a 1-for-3 performance in the twin bill finale.

Renteria said that Moncada came out of the first rehab game feeling good, and that a return during the upcoming series in Minnesota is possible.

“There’s a chance,” said Renteria. “We’ll see how he goes over the next few days, and hopefully, it’s all positive.”

• Left-hander began a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem on Saturday. Banuelos, who’s on the 60-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, threw 86 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven while allowing two runs on one walk and five hits, including a home run.

“Right now, we’ll continue to monitor his progress,” said Renteria. “We’re in the middle of this month, we still have the next month to deal with, but right now, we’ll just take it one day at a time, see how it works out today, and continue to adjust and make plans and follow his progression.”

Banuelos last pitched for the White Sox on June 15. In 13 games (eight starts) this season, he has a 6.90 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP.

• Right-hander , on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring, is improving, but continues to feel some tightness in his leg. He is currently at the White Sox facilities in Glendale, Ariz.

“He’ll continue doing everything he can to kind of continue strengthening, and trying to minimize that sensation of the tug on his leg,” said Renteria. “As that starts to clear up, he’ll be able to increase his activity.”

Roster move

The White Sox announced on Friday that they had outrighted AJ Reed to Triple-A and that he accepted his assignment. The move cut the 40-man roster down to 39 players.

In 14 games with Chicago this season, Reed batted .136/.204/.205 with one home run.